Estate Planning Attorney Explains What Happens if an Executor Dies

The person you put in charge of managing your estate is the executor. They are in charge of gathering your assets, paying any outstanding debts, and distributing your remaining assets to any of your chosen beneficiaries. If tragedy strikes and your executor dies before being able to complete their duties, you may be wondering what happens next. Today, the estate attorneys at Davidson Law Group will discuss the events that occur after the death of an executor and how Texas law handles these situations.

Related Post: Signs You Picked the Wrong Executor for Your Will

The Executor Dies First or is Unable to Act in Your Stead

Since it is a good idea to visit an estate attorney and plan your will at a young age, it is a possibility that the executor named in your will might die first or become unable or unwilling to serve this role. In this case, it is simply a matter of speaking to your estate attorney to update your will to name another person.

However, if tragedy strikes and you and your executor die together without naming an alternate, the probate court is forced to determine how to handle your estate. They will first look to any alternate or co-executors named in your will. To be fully prepared for the worst, it is a good idea to name alternate executors in your will.

If no alternate executors or co-executors are named, the court may consider other family members or a disinterested third party, such as an estate attorney. No one will have the authority to act on your wishes until the court issues a “letters testamentary” that officially transfers the responsibility of the executor to another person. Once issued, the lawyer for the deceased executor will be responsible for turning over the property and preparing an accounting of the estate to the newly selected executor.

How to Prepare

The above examples illustrate the importance of preparing with an estate attorney. A professional legal team will ensure that you have selected alternate or co-executors. If you have nominated your spouse as your executor, it can be a good idea to also name an adult child to increase the odds that at least one named executor will survive you.

Related Post: Common Questions About Executors 

Visit the Estate Attorneys at Davidson Law Group

Our team of expert estate attorneys will make sure that you have properly prepared to provide for your loved ones after your passing. Although we understand that discussing what will happen after your death or disability is a difficult conversation, it is important that you address this possibility before it is too late. Contact us today in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler, TX. We look forward to working with you!